About the Program
Nestled in the heart of Boston’s theatre district, the BFA in Musical Theatre Program (BFA MT) at Emerson College is one of the most unique pre-professional performance programs in the country. With over forty percent of degree requirements housed in liberal arts, and a distinguished faculty holding Broadway, regional, opera, television/film and composition credits, the BFA MT is a dynamic cross between scholarship and rigorous studio work.
Additionally, the program mission nurtures important foundations in the student such as teamwork, preparation, managing the business, and seeking conclusions about the nature of the creative process. Through the supplementary study of liberal arts, the program exposes the student to what we endorse as a more holistic approach to the craft. Emerson College student-to-teacher ratio is 14:1; by the time an MT student arrives at their 3rd and 4th year advanced studio classes, that ratio can drop to as low as 8:1.
In addition to regular study in singing, music analysis and dance, we support a vigorous sequential curriculum in acting and scene study. For us, the stereotype of the superficial musical theatre performer is no longer a viable approach for entering the profession. Our goal is to offer more: educating musical theatre students who can both embrace and transcend the commercial basis of the form, creating reality on a level with the best non-musical theatre.
Performance opportunities are available primarily through Emerson Stage, the producing organization of the Performing Arts Department, and serve as the laboratory for the studio work. Productions are offered in Emerson’s five performance spaces including the newly renovated Paramount Center and the magnificent 1,200-seat Cutler Majestic Theatre. The program also features two showcases for graduating seniors: The first is the annual spring showcase in Boston; the second is a one-of-a-kind autumn showcase in New York for those who graduated the previous May. Both showcases invite industry representatives and noted Emerson alumni to attend.
Professional Placement and Alumni
For current students, aggressive professional placement serves as an important supplement to the training. During the school year, students audition at several national unified auditions, as well as in New York and New England to glean summer positions at theatres such as (for 2018): Berkshire Theatre Group (MA), Rocky Mountain Rep (CO), Weathervane Theatre (NH), Hershey Park (PA), Priscilla Beach Theatre (MA), Cedar Point Theatre (OH), Hackmatack Theatre (ME), Fulton Theatre (PA), North Carolina Theatre, Bright Star Touring (GA), RWS (PA), New London Barn (NH), Missoula Children’s Theatre (MT), Jean’s Playhouse (NH) and Woodminster Summer Musicals (CA). Recent alumni have worked and are working on Broadway (including Frozen, Carousel, Amelie, Kinky Boots, Dr. Zhivago, Honeymoon In Vegas, Les Miserables, The King and I, Godspell, Warhorse), Off-Broadway (including the Atlantic Theatre and Lion Theatre) and in national tours (including Elf, The King and I, Les Miserables, 42nd Street, and Sound of Music). Regionally, alumni are working at theatres such as Goodspeed (CT), Barrington Stage (MA), Geva (NY), Berkshire Theatre Group, Ogunquit (ME), North Shore Music (MA), and Busch Gardens (VA). Cruise lines currently employing alumni include Disney, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Oceana, Holland America and Aria. Alumni from the past nine years have also worked at several Shakespeare festivals including those in Alabama, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Orlando and Camden (PA). Other recent alumni have gone on to success through graduate programs outside of theatre such as Villanova and George Washington law schools, NYU Silver School of Social Work and the renowned Clark University School of Clinical Psychology in California. Two recent alumni are also working on Capitol Hill, for representatives Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Lee Zeldin (NY).
Read the BFA MT Handbook for more details about the program.
The BFA MT curriculum requires students to begin their Emerson career with foundational and core classes. Starting in the sophomore year, the curriculum becomes more musical theatre-specific and the work becomes highly advanced in the junior and senior years.
|BFA Musical Theatre (detailed below)||72|
|Liberal Arts Requirements||56|
To see descriptions of any of the below classes, please visit our course catalog.
|1st||PA101||Languages of the Stage||4|
|1st||TH149||Emerson Stage Production Crew||0|
|2nd||TH215||World Drama in its Context I||4|
|2nd||TH216||World Drama in its Context II||4|
|1st||TH123||Movement and Voice I||4|
|1st||TH124||Movement and Voice II||4|
|1st||TH127||Musical Theatre Core I||2|
|1st||TH128||Musical Theatre Core II||2|
|2nd||TH227||Musical Theatre Core III - Scene Study||6|
|2nd||TH228||Musical Theatre Core IV - Fundamentals of Technique||0|
|2nd||MU253||Applied Music: Voice Lessons||4|
Two 0-credit non-tuition semesters at $1100 per semester in the first year.
Musical Theatre Core courses III-IV include private Voice Lessons
|2nd-3rd||DA331||Topics in Dance||2|
|2nd-4th||DA338||Musical Theatre Dance Repertoire I||2|
|2nd-4th||DA339||Musical Theatre Dance Repertoire II||2|
|2nd-4th||DA438||Musical Theatre Dance Repertoire III||2|
|2nd-4th||DA439||Musical Theatre Dance Repertoire IV|
|3rd||TH327||Musical Theatre Core V - Technique I||4|
|3rd||TH328||Musical Theatre Core VI - Technique II||4|
|4th||TH427||Musical Theatre Core VII - Contemporary Styles||4|
|4th||TH428||Musical Theatre Core VIII - Professional Orientation||4|
|4th||TH450||Topics in Musical Theatre Performance||2|
|4th||TH451||Advanced Song Interpretation||2|